Santa versus Jesus, the battle rages in pop culture, in the shop windows, and in homes around the world every Christmas. For those of us who belong to Christ, Christmas is both a season to celebrate our Savior and often a season to have fun with the magic of gifts, decorations, and parties. But for others, Christmas feels isolating because of what greets them at home – family who has missed the Christ of Christmas.

For these people, Christmas has become about sharing the gospel with loved ones, sometimes in tense conversations that deter from the merry mood. How do you lovingly address those who don’t believe God is real, those who feel like they will never measure up, and those who think God is one of many? God’s Word shows us how we can handle these situations with grace and truth while not damaging relationships.

1. Pray

This often seems like a wasted task, but for the believer, this is the most powerful action you can take on behalf of your family. John 6:44 says that no one can come to the Father unless he is drawn. Pray that the Lord draws and softens the hearts of family members before you even walk in the door. Pray for opportunities for conversation, and pray that your actions and speech will ultimately reflect Christ.

2. Look for opportunities to share.

The Great Commission in Matthew 28 charges us to go into the world and make disciples of all nations, but sometimes the hardest people to talk to reside in our homes. Why? It’s possible that we walk into these conversations knowing that we have more to lose if they go sour, and so we often avoid the hard topics. The most loving action you can take for your family is to share the good news and continue to share it. Most importantly, live and respond in such a way that they see something different in you and want to know and understand the difference. Remember that the lost will act like they don’t know Christ, which will grant you more grace as you remember that you too once lived apart from Him.

3. The most influential picture of the gospel is your story.

When the Christmas story falls flat, when the Romans road is not well received, when John 3:16 doesn’t feel true to those who aren’t sure God exists or that He loves them, your story of life change is the most influential picture of the gospel your family may see and want to respond to. In Matthew 11, men come to Jesus and ask for proof that He is the Christ. Jesus could have argued His divinity and how He had already fulfilled so many Old Testament prophecies. But instead, He points to the lives and stories of people who came in contact with Him.

If the old is gone and the new has come in your life, your family will see a difference. This is your opportunity to point to Christ – the God who bent low and became a baby so that He could die for the sins of the world. In that one act, He offered hope, peace, joy, and life abundant forever more for those who choose to follow Him.